Yes, I do know that is the second straight week we’ve mentioned Arrow right here in Couch Club, and the third time over the previous month. Yes, I do know that we’ve 5 different #DCTV exhibits airing proper now, all of that are worthy of columns. But c’mon…how can we let an episode like that cross us by with out writing about it?
Actually, how can we let a pair of episodes like that cross? Last week’s hour, “The Slabside Redemption,” was the most effective episodes of the present that I’ve ever seen. It introduced the Ollie-in-prison storyline to a spectacular shut, and it was adopted up by final night time’s episode, “Unmasked,” which proved to have double which means because it was the primary time Ollie suited up with out his masks since he first began sporting it again in season two AND gave us our first take a look at the brand new Green Arrow out of her masks.
A Green Arrow that occurred to be none aside from Emiko Queen. But extra on that later.
Serialized community TV doesn’t all the time reward danger. While ongoing storylines and sudden cliffhangers might assist hold viewers returning season after season and supply some nice fodder for workplace watercoolers, exhibits usually don’t need them to change the established order TOO a lot and danger turning off viewers. (If you will have any doubts, simply assume again to when Diggle placed on the masks and have become Green Arrow for a number of episodes. Fans have been freaking out, and that twist barely lasted a month.) So, it was pretty shocking to see Arrow maintain Ollie in jail for the primary third of the season. Suddenly, we had a superhero present and not using a actual superhero. (You clearly had the brand new Green Arrow, however she was very a lot within the background.) Ollie was locked up and the remainder of the staff had primarily gone to floor. Rene suited up as soon as and acquired himself arrested by one among his closest pals for his hassle.
All of that’s fairly gutsy when you consider it. But it was a danger that proved to be properly value taking, notably at this stage within the present’s lifespan. Arrow is in its seventh season, and it’s uncommon for a present which has been on for the higher a part of a decade to nonetheless have the opportunity to shock. But it seems that stripping the present of what it had trusted for the previous few seasons—its superhero staff dynamic—allowed the writers and actors to mine intriguing new corners of the characters and their world.
With Ollie in jail, he was as soon as once more reminded that absolute justice actually doesn’t exist. Sure, most people in Slabside in all probability deserved to be there, however the corruption that existed among the many guards meant that some inmates fared much better than others. Plus, did anybody deserve to be put via the sketchy stuff that was occurring on Level Two? That acquired into some actual Clockwork Orange territory—merciless and weird punishment disguised as revolutionary psychological rehabilitation. (By the best way, I couldn’t have been the one geeky TV fan who half anticipated Ollie to take a look at Dr. Parker and shout, “THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS!” close to the top of episode 5, proper?)
Beyond the punishment itself, Ollie discovered himself preventing alongside considered one of his former enemies—somebody who was instantly liable for the dying of individuals shut to him—and in addition discovered that true evil typically lurks in shocking locations. (Something tells me we haven’t seen the final of Stanley.) As Bronze Tiger stated in “The Slabside Redemption,” Ollie’s world has turn out to be far much less black and white through the years, and the time he spent in jail is simply probably to additional cement that worldview.
And you already know what else will in all probability add to all these shades of gray? Emiko Queen.
Yes, whereas we’d not have heard the identify in final night time’s episode, comedian guide followers know that the brand new Green Arrow is none aside from Emi, Ollie’s half-sister, who has been a staple of the Green Arrow comedian e-book collection since Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s groundbreaking run on the title again in 2013.
For anybody who doesn’t know, Emiko Queen was first launched in Lemire and Sorrentino’s debut storyline, “The Kill Machine.” In the comics, she’s the daughter of Robert Queen and Shado—one thing that may virtually definitely have to change within the present, since Shado died on Lian Yu and doesn’t appear to have recognized Ollie’s father. Emi was raised by a protégé of Robert’s named Komodo, who finally betrayed Robert and kidnapped Emiko. Emi at first seen Komodo as a father determine, however turned towards him when she found the reality, finally partnering up with Ollie and ultimately turning into his sidekick, Red Arrow.
We’ll see what path the present takes her over the months forward—although contemplating how a lot Arrow appears to be drawing inspiration from Lemire and Sorrentino’s last storyline, “Broken,” one has to assume it might supply a number of hints (so it may be worth reading, should you by no means have). One factor that Emiko’s reveal is nearly sure to do is trigger Ollie to as soon as once more query how a lot he knew about his father. Clearly Emi isn’t Moira’s daughter, which suggests Robert was in all probability untrue. Considering that Slabside’s Dr. Parker already had Ollie questioning the motives of his father, will the existence of Emiko be the ultimate nail in that coffin? And whether it is, how will that have an effect on Ollie’s relationship together with his personal son and spouse? Let’s be actual, these relationships don’t look so nice proper about now…and this season’s flash-forwards don’t precisely encourage confidence that they’ll end up all proper in the long run.
Obviously, that is all hypothesis. But proper now, we all know that Ollie has a brand new lease on life, a brand new sister and a brand new strategy to being the Green Arrow—working with the regulation as an alternative of out of doors it. Yes, it seems just like the present’s returning to its group dynamic and the superheroes are about to return (beginning with subsequent week’s Elseworlds-inspired crossover). But Arrow continues to be making key modifications and taking massive dangers—and is all the higher for it.
Arrow airs Mondays at eight p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW.
Tim Beedle writes about TV, films, comics and tradition for DCComics.com and is a daily contributor to the Couch Club, our weekly tv column. You can discover him on Twitter at @Tim_Beedle.